Salas and the Angels agreed to a one-year, $2.4 million contract Thursday to avoid arbitration, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports. Salas's deal proves the value of strikeouts, as he has been thoroughly mediocre for the past four years (4.05 ERA in 221 games, three out of four seasons with an ERA of 4.00 or worse). Still, Salas has 217 strikeouts with 209 innings over that span, and that's worth enough to keep him getting paid.
Trevor Gott is the leading candidate to head the Angels' closing committee for the remainder of the season, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. The Angels, who find themselves a half game behind the Astros in the AL wild-card race, will now have to make do without their closer, as Huston Street suffered what appeared to be a serious groin injury after he needed to be helped off the field in the ninth inning of Saturday's contest. Manager Mike Scioscia mentioned the Angels would likely go with a committee approach to the ninth inning, Gott should rank as the team's top option after emerging as a key setup man for Street in recent weeks. The 23-year-old has posted a 3.07 ERA across 44 innings with the big club this season, although it has come with a rather middling 25:15 K:BB ratio. Along with Gott, look for Fernando Salas and Mike Morin to fill vital roles at the back end of the Angels bullpen.
Angels reliever Fernando Salas earned his first win of the year, Friday, over Oakland. Salas evened his record at 1-1, recording his first win since August 28 of last year. Salas retired the only batter he faced, on one pitch. He induced a ground ball and stranded a runner in the sixth inning.
Angels relievers Fernando Salas, Cesar Ramos, Vinnie Pestano and Mike Morin all had poor outings in Thursday night's 9-2 loss to the Athletics. After Jered Weaver went six innings and gave up one run, Salas put runners on first and third to start the seventh. Ramos came in and immediately gave up an RBI single to Stephen Vogt. Pestano then took over and immediately threw a wild pitch that scored a runner. He then gave up a homer to Billy Butler and later gave up an RBI single to Brett Lawrie. Salas was credited with the loss. He's now 0-1 this season. Morin then allowed three runs in the eighth inning.
Angels releiver Fernando Salas is looking to induce more ground balls this season, and that means changing his pitch selection. "It's important for giving the infield an opportunity to get the double plays," Salas told MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. "Fly balls can sometimes be the difference in a game. I'm trying to get more ground balls." Salas has thrown his sinker less than five percent of the time. The result is a large number of fly balls, which can be dangerous to a reliever. Salas saw how dangerous in the postseason last year, when he gave up a game-winning home run in the ALDS. This season, Salas plans to go to the sinker more often, replacing the four-seam fastball he's relied on in the past, a pitch that's much easier for a batter to loft into the air. Salas shied away from the sinker in the past, because he felt it was "inconsistent". "I've been working really hard on that sinker," he said.